Tigers Drop Softball Season Opener to Illinois
Feb. 8, 2008
For Immediate Release
Memphis (0-1) 410 000 0 - 5 6 2 Illinois (1-0) 000 800 x - 8 11 3 Win - DeVreese (1-0) Loss - Sterling (0-1) Save - None. HR - Ill: Diller (1), Armstrong (1) 2B - MEM: Mott (1), Kelso 2 (2) Ill: Howell (1), Ross (1), Pinchback (1)
TAMPA, Fla. - Illinois overcame a five-run University of Memphis lead with eight runs in the fourth inning to defeat the Tigers, 8-5, as both teams opened its softball season at the USF Wilson Invitational on Friday.
Memphis scored five runs in the first two innings capped by a four-run first. Senior left fielder Lindsay Kelso led the team with two doubles in a 2-for-4 performance, knocking in a run and scoring in the opening inning. Junior leftfielder Leandra Hines also went 2-for-4 in the game and scored two runs.
Freshman Rayna McClinton started her first collegiate games for the U of M in the circle. After walking Illinois' leadoff batter to start the game on four-straight pitches followed by a single up the middle, the Columbia, S.C., native settled down and retired eight straight.
The Fighting Illini were held to one hit until opening the fourth with six in a row and eight hits in the inning. Five of the eight hits went for extra bases, including back-to-back home runs by Shanna Diller and Lana Armstrong.
Junior Lyndsey Sterling (0-1) suffered the loss for the Tigers in relief, while Illinois senior Claire DeVreese (1-0) earned the win. DeVreese entered the game in relief in the second inning and held Memphis to one hit in the final five and two-thirds innings with six strikeouts.
Back-to-back singles by Dolfo and Hines started the game for the Tigers. Dolfo came around to score the first run on Kelso's double to center. Junior catcher Kimmi Hayden then brought in two runs on a sharply hit line drive deep to left field that bounced off the top of the fielder's glove and was ruled an error. Hayden later scored after back-to back errors at first as Illinois made three errors in the inning.
Memphis scored its fifth run in the second inning. Hines hit a bunt one-out single and was driven home on a double to left by Mott.
The Tigers will continue their play in the USF Wilson Invitational as the team faces the tournament host at approximately 4 p.m. (EST). Live stats are available through Gametracker for the game at GoTigersGo.com.